Hardware appliances may sound inexpensive at first, but over time require all sorts of hidden costs, such as forced upgrades due to hardware obsolescence, high sparing costs, increased complexity, and more. Just ask Brazeway, Inc.
An aluminum designer and manufacturer, Brazeway had relied on Riverbed hardware primarily for accelerating file services (CIFS traffic) between its branch offices and data center. But the Riverbed hardware was approaching end-of-life (EOL) and the IT team faced a costly hardware upgrade. Despite some changes to their applications and replication systems now being deployed at their remote sites, CIFS remained the biggest part of their wide area network (WAN) traffic. WAN optimization was essential to their business performance.
AmeriNet, a technology integrator, introduced Brazeway to Silver Peak. The Silver Peak virtual network services-approach to WAN optimization dramatically reduces WAN traffic without the long-term migration costs incurred with Riverbed. Silver Peak software never goes end-of-life and there is never proprietary hardware to maintain; companies can deploy Silver Peak across the spare compute capacity in existing servers or purchase standard servers.
Brazeway engineers evaluated Silver Peak and were amazed by what they found.
“Riverbed was all about their CIFS performance. But you know what? We found that Silver Peak was not only just as good on CIFS, but saved us about 30 percent on the Riverbed hardware upgrade,” recalls Jeff Ing, senior network administrator at Brazeway.
All Virtual, All Performance
Brazeway initially tested Silver Peak hardware, but the company became so intrigued by the software approach that they deployed Silver Peak’s VX software on its servers in the Hopkinsville, KY branch and its data center HQ in Adrian, MI.
With the Silver Peak software deployed, the Brazeway team improved performance dramatically across more than just CIFS-based applications. Every enterprise application is accelerated by Silver Peak software. Silver Peak more than doubled the performance of Brazeway’s file transfers and web applications between locations — all without installing proprietary hardware or special plug-ins.
“We were able to utilize our existing investment in virtualization to both keep our costs down and supply us with hardware redundancy,” said Mike Sinks, Brazeway’s network administrator.
And while performance improved, so did their control over the WAN. “One final benefit that gets over looked is that Silver Peak gave us a priceless set of tools to monitor what traffic is traversing the WAN,” added Ing. “I think within 10 minutes of bringing up our tunnel, Mike [Sinks] had identified two very ‘chatty’ applications that were going over our WAN that shouldn’t have been there.”
Ing said, “If you can get the same or better performance by throwing one of your servers and Silver Peak software at the problem, accelerate even more applications, and never worry about paying for hardware upgrades again, why wouldn’t you deploy Silver Peak software?”